Olivia Rodrigo shared her side of the story with her hit debut record, SOUR, but now Joshua Bassett is seemingly responding with three new singles.
On Thursday, December 2, Bassett dropped his new tracks alongside three separate music videos. While nothing is confirmed, it’s difficult to ignore the idea that Bassett might be addressing his past with Rodrigo.
Bassett’s new tracks, “Crisis,” “Secret,” and “Set Me Free,” are all centered around the theme of “unflinching” honesty, allowing fans to hear a new set of emotions potentially related to his breakup with Rodrigo.
Just as High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actor sings on “Set Me Free,” Bassett explained in a press statement, “It’s been a f***ing year. While it’s been one of the most challenging periods in my lifetime by far; it has ultimately led to immense growth. “I’ve been up, down, and everywhere in between. Each of these songs pinpoint a different moment in time, in my processing.”
On “Crisis,” Joshua sings, “If you get to tell your truth / Then so do I/ And it's cool if you want me to play the bad guy,” as if to let listeners that his music is a direct reaction to SOUR.
“Half the s**t you're saying's only half-true/ Messin' with my life as a career move,” is chilling as Bassett pours these words out over an acoustic guitar.
Bassett also revealed that 100% of the earnings from “Crisis,” “will be donated to mental health organizations in perpetuity.” On Giving Tuesday, the singer donated an additional $1 for every new pre-save/pre-add to Bring Change to Mind, Jack.org, Beyond Blue and Mind UK.
The artist explained, “My hope is that those going through similar things feel heard and seen and can step closer to healing. While it's important to express my truth in art, I do not wish ill will on anyone, nor do I endorse using art as fuel for negativity.
In a press release, Bassett continues, “I truly hope the peace I've found amidst this challenging year encourages others to keep going and know that there really is light at the end of the tunnel."
On the two other tracks, Joshua continues the response narrative, seemingly referring to Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” on his track, “Secret.” He sings, “I really hope you had your fun / Good for you foolin' everyone / You had me tricked for 16 months."
On his final track, “Set Me Free,” Joshua is looking to lay the breakup narrative to rest. He croons, “I know you feel used I know you've been hurt / Anything I did to make you feel worse / I'd take it all back.” Later adding, “I don't recognize you not anymore / You're not the love that I fell for."
Ahead of the release, Bassett thanked his fans, writing, “Thank you for seeing me, and each other, as living, breathing, healing and hurting human beings. Due to the nature of pop culture, and the current public perspective, [there] will be a lot of loud voices in this next chapter — positive, negative and everywhere in between."
He concluded with a call for kindness, saying, “all i ask is you treat everyone with respect and love. anyone who sends hate on my 'behalf' is no fan of mine."
Bassett’s collection of three singles is out now. Watch the music videos above.